A SHORT STORY BY ME IN REEDSY.COM
Writing for passion.
Sharon Devan aspired to be a writer. Her husband, Rahul, never believed that she could write. He had a nasty habit of criticizing her for everything that she did. As a result, her self-esteem went down considerably. She felt depressed and lost her interest in life. Their eight-year-old daughter, Mia, was the only reason why she tolerated him.
Mia sought her attention most of the time. Her parents in law also lived with her in Mumbai. She regretted her decision to marry Rahul despite her parents’ objections. They were colleagues in an IT company based in New York. He courted her for two years before proposing her on the occasion of Christmas in 2010.
She immediately accepted his proposal, leaving her parents fuming at her decision. They got married in January 2011 and moved back to India. She admired India and started getting acquainted with her new family. She learned to cook Indian meals from her mother-in-law, Saraswati. Her father-in-law, Yashwant, was a retired central government employee. Sharon gave birth to her only child in 2012. She named her Mia. She had no problems in her married life. An unexpected villain surfaced in her blissful matrimony. Rahul’s colleague and a close friend, Bhaskar, started feeding him with all sorts of wrong ideas. He told him that he should learn to control his wife. He should monitor her every move. She should ask for his permission before doing anything. Rahul started following his advice. He tormented Sharon in every possible way. His parents didn’t approve of his dominating attitude towards Sharon and Mia. His father admonished him to give up his bullying and mend his ways. He argued with him for supporting Sharon. His mother tried to intervene, but he asked her to shut up. His parents stopped speaking to him after this incident.
A couple of months later, Sharon’s health started deteriorating. Rahul’s verbal abuse led to her developing hypertension, along with irregular heartbeats. Her critical health condition pressed the panic button for Rahul. He paced outside the ICU, waiting for the doctor. He received a call on his mobile. It was Sharon’s mother, Janet Patrick. She renewed her ties with her estranged daughter after the birth of Mia. He dreaded picking her call, fearing an angry outburst. Nevertheless, he picked up the call and chatted with her. She spoke to him rather calmly.
Rahul felt ashamed of himself, after disconnecting the call. His parents-in-law had high regard for him. Sharon had not complained to them about him. He had tortured her for the past two years.
Finally, the doctor emerged from the ICU. He said, ” Her condition is stable now. Please pray to God for her speedy recovery.”
A couple of days later, Sharon regained consciousness. The doctor allowed Rahul to see his wife. He had tears of joy after seeing her alive. He apologized to her for his cruelty towards her. She smiled at him and accepted his apologies. She said,” You must be wondering why I didn’t tell my parents about your torture. I thought about Mia’s future. A divorce is not always a solution for all marital problems. Parents don’t realize that their rash decision to seek a divorce would affect their children. My love for you didn’t permit me to desert you.” He gave her a gentle hug and a kiss on her forehead. He had turned over a new leaf.
Sharon got discharged from the hospital after spending a week. Rahul had requested his boss to allow him to work from home for a month. He hired a domestic help to assist her with the household chores. She couldn’t believe her eyes that Rahul had changed for good.
Rahul’s parents were delighted over his change of heart. He presented her with a brand new laptop for her thirty-eighth birthday. He said,” I never encouraged you to take up writing. I don’t want to be an obstacle on your way to becoming an author. Start writing as soon as possible.”
Sharon decided it was time to put on her thinking cap and start writing. She switched on her laptop and used her mobile for the internet connection. She checked her email and Facebook posts.
She browsed through various websites offering creative writing courses. She took notes and suggestions for starting her writing career. She was bored after some time. She loved to read books. She downloaded an e-book from Amazon. It was a murder mystery written by a new author called R.D.Hope. She spent nearly two hours on her laptop and used up all the data limit for the day. Rahul had finished preparing lunch. He came out of the kitchen, still wearing his apron smeared with food stains. He stood behind her, watching her read the ebook with full concentration.
” That’s a great way to launch your writing career,” he whispered into her ears, making her jump in fright. Sharon turned to face him. ” I thought I would read some books that would help me get started. I don’t know how to begin my story. I wish I could get some tips from Mr.Hope. He is an excellent author.”
” Thank you so much for your compliments,” piped in Rahul, ” R.D.Hope is at your service. Feel free to ask me anything.” Sharon looked at him incredulously. ” You are pulling my leg, aren’t you?” she probed him,” What is the proof that you are Mr. Hope?” He went to his bedroom and opened the closet. He pulled out a drawer, picking up a sheaf of papers neatly stapled at the top. He called her and thrust the papers into her hand. ” This is the manuscript of my forthcoming book in the Detective Jay series. Let me show you something else,” he added and dragged her towards the living room. He switched on his smartphone and entered R.D. Hope in the Google search option.
He handed over his phone to her and watched her clicking on the Wikipedia. His biography on the page cleared all her doubts. He was indeed her favorite author. He explained that his parents discouraged him from taking up writing as a full-time career. They told him that there was no stability in the income generated by writing. People may or may not buy his books. He followed their advice and became an engineer.
He suggested,” Don’t let people bother you with their negative comments. They will try to dissuade you by blabbering on the monetary benefits. Money should not be your primary objective for writing.
Just put in your heart and soul into your work. You must be mentally prepared to accept the rejection of your manuscript.
Focus your attention primarily on getting your manuscript ready. Distractions and writer’s block will find their way to create obstacles for you. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your health is more important than your work. Finally, no one becomes rich overnight. Hard work and persistent efforts are necessary to keep you on the move. My lecture is over for the day. Let’s have our lunch together. ” Sharon appreciated his pep-talk and assured him that she would keep his suggestions in mind. The entire family joined together for lunch. Rahul’s parents went to their room for their afternoon siesta after lunch. Rahul and Sharon cleared the dining table. Mia used her mother’s mobile to play games.
Sharon took out her old diary and scribbled a few words. Rahul received a call on his mobile. His jovial mood got quickly replaced by tension. She inquired,” Is it some bad news?” He replied,” Do you remember Bhaskar? He was the one who had turned me into a monster. He committed suicide last night. His wife had divorced him around a week ago. He lost custody of his children. She also refused him permission to visit his children.” ” I am sorry, dear,” she consoled him,” His death is unfortunate. Yet, he was solely responsible for his fate.”
He agreed with her opinion.
Sharon’s training session began with Rahul from the next day. He taught her about plot creation and characterization.
He gave her writing exercises daily and edited her work. She made remarkable progress in the plot creation by following his guidelines. He was pleased with her ability to grasp the concept within a short period. She began to double her efforts in developing strong characters.
Rahul ensured that she had achieved a certain level of proficiency in writing. He guided her for fifteen days. He resumed his official duty.
Unfortunately, pandemic Covid-19 hit Mumbai, leading to complete lockdown after a week. Sharon had started working on her debut novel. She set aside some time from her busy schedule for writing. Rahul’s assistance enabled her to continue her work without any interruption. She prepared a rough draft of her novel and edited it several times.
Rahul made some changes within the manuscript. It took two months for Sharon to finish her work. Rahul’s friend, Vishal, edited her manuscript. He also helped her with the cover design and drafting a cover letter.
The couple waited anxiously for a favorable response from the publisher. Sharon braced herself to face rejection.
Fortunately, she received a call from the publisher about the acceptance of her novel. She shared this good news with her family. They were proud of her achievement.
Her debut novel, Bad Luck Forever, garnered critical acclaim. She got positive reviews for her book. It emerged as one of the bestsellers in Amazon. Sharon sought the blessings of her parents-in-law.
Rahul gave them a brief summary of her novel. She had written a psychological thriller about a child turning into a serial killer in his adulthood. He targets the couples filing for a divorce, despite having children.
Rahul celebrated the success of Sharon’s novel with his family. He ordered food from a reputed hotel. He cast a loving glance at his wife. She blew him a kiss and thanked him for being her mentor. Mia hugged her parents and kissed them.
Sharon realized her dream of becoming an author.
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